Three out of the five remaining Kentucky Derby prep races happen Saturday in three distinct tracks across the nation. With post times within a half an hour of each other, the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and the Santa Anita Derby can help form the Derby area.
All three races are a part of a live national broadcast on NBCSN from 4:30-6:30 p.m. CT..
Santa Anita Derby odds, analysis and picks The biggest of the 3 contests is that the Grade 1, $1 million Santa Anita Derby.
The Bob Baffert trainee, GAME WINNER, headlines a short area of six. He is the morning-line favored at 4/5 chances and is most likely the best horse in the racebut his last outing was a tough one, as he had been out in a driveway for half-mile and could not get by Omaha Beach. That was his first race back on the track following a 4??1/2-month layoff, and one could either believe he received some good conditioning with that effort or that he’s a bit beat up and tired.
His primary competition may be ROADSTER (5/2 odds), who hails from the Baffert barn. From the Del Mar Futurity, Roadster finished third, beaten just two lengths by Game Winner.
INSTAGRAND, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, is your third choice on the morning line at 3/1. He will want to expand his sprinter’s pace around two turns and the 1??1/8-mile space. He appears to rebound from his first loss in the Gotham Stakes after winning his first two races by ten lengths apiece.
NOLO CONTESTO (6/1) ran second to Roadster after bobbling at the rest in his latest and beat Omaha Beach in his previous start. Those 2 finishes put him in the combination Saturday.
The field is rounded out by two long shots; SYNTHESIS (30/1), with one win in nine races, and MORE ICE (30/1), that has never won on the dirt.
Game Winner is the only horse that has secured enough points to move on into the Kentucky Derby. All other horses would have to win or run next to have a chance at reaching the gate at Churchill on May 4. This race awards points on a 100-40-20-10 foundation towards the top four finishers.
The Santa Anita Derby is going to be conducted as race No. 8 Saturday’s Santa Anita card. Post time is 5:30 p.m. CT..
GAME WINNER 4/5: If manager these
INSTAGRAND 3/1: Better than his past ROADSTER 5/2: In nice shape Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland chances, analysis and picks The first Saturday of the Keeneland match is emphasized by the 95th functioning of the Grade 2, $1 million Blue Grass Stakes, to be conducted at 1??1/8 miles. It seems to be an open affair one of the top several favorites in a field of 14.
VEKOMA, the 9/5 decision on the morning line, is coming from a third-place finish at the Fountain of Youth Stakes, where he ran 2??3/4 lengths behind Code of Honor. Vekoma was coming from a four-month layoff and should be tighter for this outing with this particular race under his belt.
The next choice at 7/2 is WIN WIN WIN, who is seeking to rebound from a third-place end in the Tampa Bay Derby on March 9. He did not seem to love two turns for the first time and has been flat from the street, but he still ran a good third. He ran fairly wide throughout that race and might be place to get a far superior performance Saturday if put to the mix sooner.
SIGNALMAN (5/1) had a beautiful fall campaign but returned to the races from a three-month layoff to conduct a dismal seventh at the Fountain of Youth. He is a person who could improve off his comeback race and should get some attention in the windows.
SOMELIKEITHOTBROWN (10/1) will probably be attempting to prove he can run onto the dirt after notching wins in his two most recent outings on the artificial and also a previous turf score in Saratoga. His initial start was about the dirt and it was not a great one; if you can forgive this first bad effort, he is a player here.
DREAMAKER (12/1) comes off a dismal 10th-place end in the Tampa Bay Derby, but he did get left at the beginning and had a pretty rough trip then.
The remaining portion of the area is comprised of a lot of long shots: ADMIRE (15/1) broke his maiden in November and has done nothing since; SIR WINSTON (15/1) has never won on grime; SO ALIVE (15/1) conducted a distant third in the Sam F. Davis; MARKET KING (20/1) ran third to Omaha Beach from the Rebel; LUCKY LEE (20/1) ran dead last in the Withers; PARSIMONY (20/1) hasn’t won a race; AQUADINI (30/1) simply broke his maiden in February and neglected since the favorite in his final; MOONSTER (30/1) won his only career race out of eight starts way back in September 2018; and CHESS CHIEF (30/1) simply broke his maiden last month following five starts.
The Blue Grass is race No. 10 about the Keeneland card, and place time is 5:23 p.m. CT..
WIN WIN WIN 7/2: Another chance VEKOMA 9/5: Stalking design fits nicely here
SIGNALMAN 5/1: Needs a fast pace
SOMELIKEITHOTBROWN 10/1: Would like this dirt
MARKET KING 20/1: Decent 3rd at The Rebel
Wood Memorial at Aqueduct chances, analysis and picks The Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial, the final prep race at New York, attracted a field of 11. Points will be awarded on a 100-40-20-10 point basis to the top-four finishers, promising the winner and possibly the runner-up a place in the Kentucky Derby. Tacitus and Haiklal have enough things to secure their place at Churchill Downs in May.
TACITUS (5/2) is your morning-line favorite and can be two-for-three in his career — including a fine win at the Tampa Bay Derby, where he overcome Outshine by 1??1/4 lengths. The combination of coach Bill Mott and jockey Jose Ortiz will get some activity on the tote board.
HAIKAL (7/2) comes into this contest on a three-race win series, including a win in the Gotham Stakes over this program. He’s only a neck from being a perfect four-for-four, all at Aqueduct, and he seems fairly tough Saturday.
TAX (9/2) was off since shooting the Withers Stakes over this course and space on Feb. 2, when he held by a head over Not That Brady. He seems primed for a good attempt here and ought to be around the action at the cable.
OUTSHINE (6/1) is coming off a fantastic runner-up end to Tacitus in the Tampa Bay Derby on March 9, and his current workouts state he is in great form.
HOFFA’S UNION (6/1) has won his only start, a maiden event at Laurel by 15 lengths. Not sure he’s good enough to compete .
FINAL JEOPARDY (8/1) broke his maiden in his first outing after which ran third in the Limehouse Stakes before taking an allowance race last month. Two wins from three starts and never off the plank says that he warrants a look.
OVERDELIVER (20/1) is just another who won his debut and moved immediately to the bets amount, finishing second from the Pasco Stakes at Tampa, some 7??1/4 lengths behind Win Win Win. However, with just two career races and being a route, I will pass.
NOT THAT BRADY (20/1) tanked in the Gotham past month and ended last. However he ran a fantastic moment to charitable, losing by only a head in his previous outing in the Withers Stakes. Not That Brady isn’t so bad. Live in a cost.
GRUMPS LITTLE TOTS (30/1) just broke his eponymous Feb. 18 within this route in his fourth effort. He’d have to improve a ton to be in the mix now.
MATH WIZARD (30/1) includes two wins (by 18 lengths and 6??3/4 lengths) plus a second-place finish in his last three starts. Talented but overmatched.
JOEVIA (30/1) has never been out of the exacta in three starts and ran a good moment to Haikal two races ago, losing by just a neck. This quick colt will be forwardly placed and could stick around for a piece.
The Wood Memorial is race No. 10 on the Aqueduct card with a post time of 5 p.m. CT..
HAIKAL 7/2: Loves this course TAX 9/2: A lot to like TACITUS 5/2: Connections arrived to play NOT THAT BRADY 20/1: Live and speedy long shot
FINAL JEOPARDY 8/1: Never off the plank JOEVIA 30/1: Quick and functioning well
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